Claremore City Manager John Feary looks back on 2020 and forward into 2021.
1. Looking back on 2020, what was the biggest challenge and how did you overcome that challenge?
The transition in leadership in the City Manager’s office on an interim basis required me to act as City Manager, while maintaining my responsibilities as Executive Director at Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority (CIEDA). Finding that balance in the workplace, while also helping our community and the business sector navigate COVID-19, certainly was challenging. Through the diligence, support, and professionalism of the City Council, city staff and CIEDA Board and staff standing with me at every step, were we able to overcome some our biggest obstacles.
2. Looking onto 2021, what are your goals as the City Manager?
As a team and community we look to tackle 2021 with some very high standards and goals. We are looking at rolling out a new app geared toward making interactions with the city and managing utilities easier and more efficient. Under the leadership of our premier engineering team, we will be starting many of our next much-needed infrastructure projects that will better our ability to serve Claremore in all aspects. That endeavor will take several years, but we have to start and 2021 will be the year we see the start of major improvements in transportation, water, electric, storm water and wastewater.
3. How can residents get more involved in decisions made by the city council?
The Council and administration wants increased participation and feedback. Attending council meetings, emailing the Council or myself directly with questions or concerns and taking part in community meetings when we have them to determine the future of Claremore are the best ways to be more involved.
4. Are there any changes to city council meetings in 2021?
There is a possibility that the Oklahoma legislature may allow more flexibility with virtual meetings while the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing. If that is the case, you may see a transition back to virtual meetings until we feel a sense of safety for our Councilors and citizens. City staff is also looking at additional streaming options beyond just Facebook for our meetings as well.
5. What is something you wished every resident knew about Claremore?
I wish they knew the true heart behind every public servant and elected official who works for the people of this great city. Regardless of how you feel about the decision made by the Council or administration, I hope everyone realizes the decisions made are done so with the best available information at the time and with the utmost desire to make Claremore better. In many situations, the best decisions made are not always the most popular decisions.